All it takes is a drive through Summerville to see how special it is. Here are five reasons you should want to live in Summerville:

1. The historic downtown area has large Victorian homes and cottages, all surrounded by azaleas, magnolias and dogwoods and a quaint Main Street featuring restaurants, shops, galleries and more. The town has more than 700 homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

If you want to live somewhere that gives you warm feelings and harks back to days of yore, this is it. 

The area is host to a variety of special events that include street dances, the farmers market and more. Guerin’s, at 140 S. Main St., has been operating as an independent pharmacy complete with a soda fountain since 1871.

In addition, Hutchinson Square is undergoing updates to make it a hub of social activity complete with a stage for outdoor performances.

Downtown Summerville also boasts free parking and free Wi-Fi.

2. Near downtown, Azalea Park on South Main Street between West 3rd South and West 5th South streets is considered the crown jewel of the town’s parks system.

Throughout the year, azaleas and camellias provide a spectacular show, but any time of year, it’s worth a visit to the 12-acre park to see its ponds, paths, fountains, gazebo and permanent sculptures.

Azalea Park also has two tennis courts, the Cuthbert Community Center (available for rent) and two wedding gazebos (also for rent).

3. Six miles from downtown, on the Ashley River, is the 325-acre Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, which has archaeological remains that give visitors a peek into the early history of Colonial South Carolina.

Self-guided tours take visitors to see the remains of the brick bell tower of St. George’s Anglican Church, a log wharf, the tabby fort and the cemetery. You also can download a cemetery walking tour or park tour on your phone.

The park, at 300 State Park Road, Summerville, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. during daylight saving time). Admission is $2 for adults and free for ages 15 and under.

4. The Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex at Gahagan Park has picnic tables, shelters, ball fields, a track, public restrooms and more. It plays host to several tournaments throughout the year.

But one of its most popular features is the Plantation Playground, which sports a large climbing castle that will keep youngsters busy for hours. The park is open during daylight hours and there’s no admission.

5. When completed, Nexton, which is near Interstate 26, will have 10,000 homes, more than 6 million square feet of commercial space and more than 50 miles of trails. The developers bill it as a place for “thinkers, creators and everyone in search of a simpler, richer life.” Nexton got its first residents in late 2014, and now has the Carolina Ale House and lots of other commercial and retail under construction. The community aims to be one where people can live, work and play. 

Reach Brenda Rindge at 843-937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.